Plasmons can be thought of as waves of electrons in a metal surface. More specifically, plasmons are charge density oscillations in a metal or other conductive materials. A light incident on a metal surface can generate plasmons similar to how wind incident on water can generate waves. Light can create plasmons, and the oscillating charges of plasmons can also generate light. The plasmonic-optical interactions give rise to interesting physics at the nanoscale. See also: What is a Plasmon?

Nano-optics or nanophotonics is the study of light on the nanoscale. Typically visible light is limited by the diffraction limit and cannot be focused down to sizes smaller that about half the wavelength of visible light, less than hundreds of nanometers. Nano-optics deals with ways to overcome this diffraction limit in order to manipulate light at scales that are smaller than 100 nm. Plasmonics is one area of nano-optics. Plasmonic nanostructures can focus light to regions that can be less than 10 nm! Additionally, focusing light to such a small, highly-localized volume also generate extremely large optical enhancements in this nanoscale region. These enhancements can be used for applications including single molecule detectors [1], enhanced spectroscopies [2], cancer treatment [3], and more efficient solar cells [4].

Herzog Plasmonic Nano Optics Lab

Research in the Herzog Plasmonic Nano Optics Lab consists of: See here for more information on these Research Projects and Areas.

Interested in being part of the research group? See How to join the Herzog Lab.


Dec, 2021 - Matutes Selected as Shaheen Scholar - Joan Matutes has been selected as a Shaheen Scholar through the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences for her proposal titled The Effect of Finite Element Mesh Style and Size on Nano-Optic Computational Electromagnetic Simulations. Dr. Herzog and Joan Matutes gratefully acknowledge the gift provided by Yvonne and Riad Shaheen to support this work at the University of Indianapolis.


Nov, 2021 - New Article in Journal of Nanophotonics - Herzog group publishes paper in the Journal of Nanophotonics. This experimental work was conducted by Dr. French, and undergraduate Senior Meredith Magee made significant contributions to getting this work published. The work is titled Plasmonic enhancement of photobrightening in CdSe quantum dots.


Apr, 2021 - UIndy Seniors take home first place at National Robotics Competition - A student team (Jonathan Key, Mechanical Engineering; Tyler Cole, Industrial & Systems Engineering; Laura Johnson, Mechanical Engineering; Ryan Kallenberger, Mechanical Engineering; also assisted by junior Mechanical Engineering major, Anthony WIlliamson) in Dr. Herzog's senior design class took home first place at the National Robotics Challenge World Championship in the Combat Robot Post-secondary level competition. Read more here.


Dec, 2020 - Chulhai and Herzog awarded 2020-2021 InQuery Grant - Dr. Chulhai in the Department of Chemistry and Dr. Herzog have been awarded the 2020-2021 InQuery Grant by the Office of the Provost. Their project is titled Importance of Atomistic Quantum Effects in Nanogap Arrays, and is an interdisciplinary collaborative project with undergraduate researchers.


Oct, 2020 - Herzog Selected as 2020-2021 Provost Fellow - Dr. Herzog has been selected as a 2020-2021 Provost fellow. The purpose of the award is to support leadership development for college and school-level administration as well as, more broadly, higher education administration. Herzog will have the opportunity to demonstrate his leadership potential through the implementation of his project that has two areas of focus: (1) Developing and preparing two new programs for ABET accreditation: Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, and (2) Exploring ways to integrate the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences with the R.B. Annis School of Engineering. Read more here.


Aug, 2020 - Magee, French, and Furr publish work - Herzog undergraduate group members, Meredith Magee ‘22 and Miles Furr ‘21, in collaboration with Dr. French, group alumnus, publish article for virtual SPIE conference Plasmonically enhanced photobrightening using quantum dots.


July, 2020 - Herzog Elected as SPIE senior member - Dr. Herzog has been promote to a 2020 SPIE Senior Member for his many contributions to SPIE and the Optics community. SPIE Senior Members are Members of distinction honored for their professional experience, their active involvement with the optics community and SPIE, and/or significant performance that sets them apart from their peers.


Principal Investigator

Joseph B. Herzog, PhD
Assistant Professor
R.B. Annis School of Engineering
University of Indianapolis

Full Bio

Email: herzogjb

1400 E. Hanna Avenue, MH 206
Indianapolis, IN 46227

Herzog Lab - Press Releases:

UIndy Students Take Home First Prize At National Robotics Competition - Apr 2021

Provost Fellow Awards 2020-21 - Jan 2021

Engineering Students Intern at Department of Defense Research Labs - Sep 2019

U of A Graduate Students Receive Awards and Grants at International Optics Conference - Aug. 28, 2018

Research Investigates the Optical Properties of Two-Dimensional Materials for Potential Advancements to Infrared Technology - Feb. 27, 2018

Research Reveals Unique Optical Properties in Nanoscale Materials - Jan. 11, 2018

Physics Professor Appointed as Fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Lab

Research Reveals Insights Into Optical Properties of Plasmonic Nanostructures

Fulbright College Announces 2017 Connor Faculty Fellows

Students Awarded Summer Internships With the Office of Naval Research

Nano-Optical Research Reveals Insight for Improved Plasmonic Grating Design

Herzog Appointed to Tenure-Track Position in Physics Department

Eight U of A Students Selected as NSF Graduate Research Fellows

Arkansas Biosciences Institute Awards $1.58 Million in Grants to U of A Researchers

Bauman Awarded SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship

Nine U of A Students and Recent Alumni Receive NSF Fellowships

Biophysicist To Deliver Keynote at 2014 IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Conference

University of Arkansas Students Honored at SPIE Conference

U of A Student Named Goldwater Scholar; Three More Earn Honorable Mentions

Physicists Quantify Temperature Changes in Metal Nanowires

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